The new teaser trailer for Cars 3 hit the web recently, and it might be hinting at us to turn on the fog lights. The teaser opens with a black screen and muffled cheering, which quickly cuts to the zooming of the racers as they go by. The first thing to notice is how great the animation looks, but more importantly how unusually gritty it all feels. Soon we see the introduction of Jackson Storm, voiced by Armie Hammer, as he maneuvers his way to the front. Next comes the crash of Lightning McQueen from the initial teaser before we get a summation of the plot via quick shots and some brief narration. What is the plot exactly? Well, it looks like its back to training for McQueen in order to be the very best yet again.
Personally this excites me if for no other reason that Cars 2 (2011) was a gigantic misstep for Pixar. Taking this universe of living breathing cars and mashing it together into a mediocre spy flick did not sit well with critics, butut we can’t deny that the original Cars(2006), albeit sub par, was harmless in its intent. Producer John Lasseter has been hinting for some time that this installment will be much darker in tone then the rest and the lack of Mator, voiced be Larry The Cable Guy, anywhere in this preview just might be evidence of that. Unfortunately, the voice over by Owen Wilson, returning as Lightning, still comes off a bit too “bro-ey” but given the chance to stretch his dramatic voice acting work,Wilson may side swipe us this time around.
My hopes for the film is that Pixar finally adds some adult thematic elements that they’ve included in their more popular movies. How much more meaningful would it be to have Lightning McQueen lose his comeback race at the end of the movie despite having trained so hard ala Rocky (1976)? It might actually show the kids of today that its not always about winning and getting a trophy or losing and still getting a trophy, but actually giving it your all. Toy Story 3 also gave us a slightly similar story to its predecessors, but blew our socks off with its warming yet heartbreaking farewell. Pixar has a tendency to knock it out of the park when it takes chances, and all things in this teaser point to Cars 3 actually having some balls. Although, no self respecting automobile, in the animated world or real life, should ever have balls dangling underneath it.
Cars 3 is expected to hit theaters June 16, 2016.